Riddle me this: Of all the online KPIs you routinely monitor and measure, there is one factor that affects your users and impacts your business success the most. It’s the secret sauce you need to bake into all of your product messaging and communications, email engagement, and across virtually every channel that touches your prospective and existing customers – yet unlike your other metrics it’s quite possibly the most difficult to track.
The answer? Your online branding strategy. Building a brand online is the most powerful and overarching element that differentiates your business from the ever-competitive online landscape. It is your company’s identity in the eyes of your customers.
Successful brand development emotionally ties your customers to your company’s story, and by extension your products, making it the foundational factor underlying all of your success metrics. Moreover, investing in your brand strategy now is like making a down payment towards earning true customer loyalty and site traffic in the future.
Customers who love your brand will keep returning to your website without you having to invest as aggressively in Pay-per-click (PPC), paid social and other online campaigns. But, justifiably so, this ingredient takes care, creativity, and consistency to get right.
BRAND BUILDING STRATEGIES FOR YOUR WEBSITE
Here are 5 essential strategies every online business should implement to strengthen brand awareness and build a loyal customer base.
1) Define your target audience and focus on it
Brand building is in many ways the same as relationship building in your personal life: If you try to please everyone and be all things to everyone, you’ll end up with very few loyal friends. Whether your company’s offerings were developed around one dedicated customer demographic, or you have a multitude of customer segments, it’s important to position your brand and hone your marketing efforts for each specific audience segment rather than casting a wider net to a less interested audience.
2) Share your brand’s unique story
Today, having a fast and user-friendly site is merely the minimum price of admission for online retail sites. With so many choices readily available to online shoppers today, showing what sets your company apart from others is critical to building that emotional connection that wins loyal customers who refer your products or services to their friends and family.
“Customers today can acquire similar products in many places, so building loyalty is never just about the products, it has to be about your brand,” explains Magento Founder Roy Rubin in our recently published ebook The Customer Journey: A 360° View from Top eCommerce Executives. “What creates affinity for consumers is the way you tell your brand’s story and how well your customers can relate to that story.”
Every successful brand has a unique heritage or story that needs to brought out and shared with their customer segments. Don’t just tell them — show them this story on your website, social, and email channels, and make it easily shareable so that they can become your biggest promoters.
3) Keep your brand content consistent across all channels
One of the most neglected aspects for eCommerce businesses is making sure they have a proactive brand marketing strategy that extends beyond their desktop and mobile storefronts. Online retail brands are increasingly featured on Amazon and other prominent marketplaces, whether directly or through other resellers.
As more online shoppers continue flocking to these channels, your brand strategy must prioritize making your product descriptions and images consistent at every customer touchpoint.
4) Use color psychology for your logo and website design
More and more, companies are recognizing the connection between graphic design and human psychology. Consciously or not, our moods and emotions are affected by different colors. Recent research by WebPageFX reveals that nearly 85 percent of consumers cite color as the main reason they buy a particular product, and 80 percent believe color increases brand recognition.
Whether you’re launching a brand new line of products or evaluating how well your current look and feel resonates with your customer segments, it’s a good practice to engage your target demographics and capture the feelings and emotions your brand logo and site design are evoking from them — you may be really surprised what you find out.
5) Make sure no one else is using your website as a platform for their ads
More often than not, Building a brand online takes time and demands substantial efforts from your digital team before your company starts reaping lasting benefits. So it should go without saying that once you succeed in bringing interested online shoppers to your site, you want them focused on your brand and not disrupted by intruders. But a significant percentage of online shoppers are interrupted by unauthorized ads injected into their browsers that invade websites with competitor product recommendations, pop-ups and banners, skimming your hard-earned traffic and conversions — and also undermining your brand perception. Known as Customer Journey Hijacking, this phenomenon targets online businesses across all verticals. Leading brands are leveraging innovations that can monitor and block this invasive content in order to preserve their customers’ experience and protect their brand equity.
Putting these strategies into practice will help you build a loyal customer base who are supporters and promoters of your brand.